The notebook people love.” – Apple.
I’m skeptical that all people love it, but I certainly do. Apple’s latest incarnation of the Macbook Air takes dead aim at the ultra-portable laptop market and hits the mark. I would liken the Macbook Air to a bullet; it’s deadly-fast in a tiny package. If you travel for business and appreciate the convenience of a smaller laptop size, or if you are in the market to purchase an ultra-portable notebook for either personal use or business use, here are three reasons you should consider the new Macbook Air:
I. Size Matters
This notebook weighs in at only 2.38 pounds in the 11-inch version, while the 13-inch comes in at just under 3 pounds. In my hands, it feels slightly heavier than a large, hardcover John Grisham novel. The Macbook Air’s most appealing body feature is, of course, its height. There’s a reason the money shot in the TV ad is the profile shot of the notebook from the side. Both the 11 and 13-inch models are an insane .68 inches tall. I don’t believe that height includes the desk pads on the bottom of the case, but even with the pads, it’s barely taller than a stack of two legal pads. Depending on your usage, the screen size might be the only deal breaker here, but if you are interested in smaller notebooks, that will be the case regardless of what brand. The feature, in my opinion, that shined the brightest on the Macbook Air was the keyboard size. I initially debated purchasing the 13-inch model because I assumed the keyboard would be larger. I was wrong. Both the 11-inch and 13-inch models have the same keyboard size. Only the trackpad and the palm rests are slightly larger on the 13-inch version. I was concerned about the keyboard size because I have large hands and very long fingers and the bulk of my laptop use would be typing, but the keyboard is extremely comfortable and it’s backlit for lowlight situations.
II. It’s Fast—Like Really, Really Fast
The Macbook Air is designed entirely around its flash storage setup, which gives this notebook its amazing portability and size advantages. It’s also why this notebook is lightning-quick to operate. According to Apple, “the PCIe-based flash storage is up to 9x faster than the traditional 5400-rpm notebook hard drive.” From a user standpoint, this certainly feels to be 100% true. Even after long periods in standby mode, the start screen pops to life instantly. Applications open and shutdown in blazing speed and opening and closing large files is also a snap. It did feel sort of odd that the Macbook Air has no sound or hum of a spinning hard drive or fan, however. But whatever, I got over it as soon I realized it performed like a Ferrari with the gas pedal to the floor.
III. The Price is Right
Starting at $899 for the 11-inch and $999 for the 13-inch, the Macbook Air is definitively Apple’s most affordable notebook option. I’m sure most people gasp when they see the price tag on a shiny new Macbook Pro, but as is the case with the majority of Apple’s products, you certainly get what you pay for. I had no qualms about plunking down my hard-earned cash for this notebook. Given its unbelievable size and speed, coupled with my deep, unrelenting love for Mac OSX, it was certainly worth the money. Is the price a premium on most ultra-portable notebooks on the market? Probably. But in my opinion, it’s certainly not overpriced for the quality of the machine.
In conclusion, the Macbook Air is an amazing notebook. If you are a small-business owner looking for an ultra-portable notebook for yourself or your employees or if you travel regularly and are looking for the smallest and lightest high-performance laptop on the market, give the Macbook Air a shot. Like a bullet, it will probably hit the target.